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Special Events & Opportunities

Connect with classmates, collaborators, and future colleagues in the science of food. Grow your understanding of food science and technology. Develop professional skills. Set yourself up for success with the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT’s) special student opportunities.

FIRST Student Program

You’ve determined the right profession for you and now you want to explore all it has to offer. There is no better way to do this than to attend IFT’s FIRST--food improved by science, research, and technology--virtual event. From the location of your choosing, you can immerse yourself and fully explore, network, and learn surrounded by students and professionals just like you who are advancing the science of food. Student scholarships are available!

Don't miss our Student Primer on Friday, July 9 at 11:00 am CT to learn all about the FIRST student program and how you can get the most out your FIRST virtual event experience. 

Learn more and sign up today!

IFTSA Global Summit

Bringing the world’s food science students together in one meeting. Recordings of past events are available now.

Learn more

IFTSA 2021 Virtual Area Meeting Event
On-demand Sessions

This year, the IFT Area Meetings switched to a virtual experience! It was a great success, and we are in the process of making the sessions available to you on demand, including our keynote address, The Role of Food Science in the World of Food and Media, will be presented by Rosemary Trout, PhD of Drexel University.

Access sessions from the 2021 IFTSA Virtual Area Meeting

Rosemary Trout

Rosemary Trout, DHSc
Program Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of Culinary Arts & Food Science
Drexel University

Rosemary Trout teaches and writes laboratory exercises for food science, food microbiology, food composition and sensory analysis courses. She has done research in antioxidant properties of fruit juices, chocolate sensory appeal, and has had funded research on food sustainability and reduction in food waste-centered curriculum development with colleagues through the James Beard Foundation and new dairy-based food product development and sensory analysis for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Trout has been an invited speaker most recently at Monell Chemical Senses Center, Rutgers University and at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School Culinary Medicine group.

Most recently, Trout is the featured food scientist in over 60 episodes of “4 Levels,” “Answered By Experts, FAQ” and “Ingredient Swap” and has appeared in several videos for Bon Appetit, such as “Making Perfect” and “Molly Tries” with over 200 Million views combined. She has also been featured on NPR’s Radio Times with Mary Cummings-Jordan, in Philadelphia Magazine and Reader’s Digest.

All times listed are in Central Time.

4 p.m.

PD 101
Come join IFTSA sponsored webinar on PD101 to learn more about the food industry product development landscape. In this webinar, you will learn about the dynamic food industry network, types of industries students can get into, types of product development, introduction to the stage gate process, why product development is necessary and an interactive case study where you can apply these learnings. This webinar is presented by food industry professionals who have a variety of experience with different types of product development.

5 p.m.

Area Meeting Product Development Challenge
More information coming soon!

5 p.m.

Chapter Advisor Social
Faculty members are invited to join this exclusive event for you! Meet and make connections with other academics in the science of food.

6–7 p.m.

IFTSA Social: iEscape Virtual Escape room
Class is over, come hang out with IFTSA students from around the globe! Teams will work together to unravel cryptic messages. You must solve riddles and puzzles together while scanning augmented reality for clues. Once they unpack the evidence, they can escape before the time runs out.

All times listed are in Central Time.

9–11 a.m.

IFTSA Student Social
IFTSA is a global organization that is proud to support education across the globe. Are you student residing outside of the USA or have come to the USA for your education? You can connect with us from any corner of the world. Join us to meet students with interests from academia as well as the food industry and learn more about how to connect year round.+

10–10:45 a.m.

Welcome to IFTSA
New to IFT or just became a member? Come learn about the many benefits of being an IFTSA member and get your questions answered by the IFTSA Vice President of Chapters.

11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Opening Keynote
Welcome to the IFTSA Virtual Annual Meeting. Connect with members from across the globe, with introductions by the President of IFT and the IFTSA President. The keynote address titled, The Role of Food Science in the World of Food and Media, will be given by Dr. Rosemary Trout, Drexel University.

12–1 p.m.

Connections Break
Interested in meeting other Food Science students from around the world? Take this time to meet in small chat rooms for a game or even a yoga session. Or if you are looking for time off camera, explore all of the content in the event room and comment on the posts.

1–2 p.m.

Careers in Food Panel
Come learn about the diverse careers available to those in the science of food and learn where you can find your place in feeding the world.

2:15–3:15 p.m.

Should I get a PhD?
The Doctor of Philosophy is the terminal degree of the sciences. Not sure if you should invest the time for one? Listen to our four speakers discuss if and how it helped them in their journeys.

2:15–3:15 p.m.

Anatomy of a Resume
Applying to jobs? Morgan Kondrac, Member at Large of the IFTSA Board of Directors, shares considerations in building a resume for a search in the science of food.

3:30–4:30 p.m.

Future Food Talks
Engage with the future of food as industry professionals share their perspectives and roles in the science of food.

5–6 p.m.

IFTSA Closing Session and Social
Network and mingle with fellow students as we recap the day’s events.

IFTSA’s eight areas are each hosting a social for students in their area as well as anyone who wants to join. Plan on joining during the following times to hear what the IFTSA Chapters from these areas have been up to this year as well as network with those on the call. For details, including any special speakers that have been invited, visit the Area’s card in the event site.

Times listed are in each area’s primary time zone.

North Central

Friday, April 9  |  6:30–8:30 p.m. (CT)


Tuesday, April 13  |  6–8 p.m. (ET)


Wednesday, April 14  |  6–8 p.m. (CT)

South Central

Wednesday, April 14  |  7–9 p.m. (CT)

Central Atlantic

Thursday, April 15  |  6–8 p.m. (ET)

North Atlantic

Friday, April 16  |  7–9 p.m. (ET)

Pacific Northwest


Pacific Southwest


Student Opportunities background

Connect with your food science community!

Explore the many ways you can meet and become more connected to the science of food global community.

IFT members are able to connect with peers around the globe, through IFT Connect, IFT’s online community site. Participate in interest-based discussion boards and topical division groups, ask questions, solve problems, and make invaluable connections through the online directory.

Join the Conversation on IFT Connect

Connect With Your Community

IFT regional sections offer invaluable, in-person experiences to gain insights and network with food professionals in your area. Learn more about IFT sections.

Student Events

Join an IFT Division

Members are able to join IFT's interest-based groups (called divisions) of their choice. With over 24 divisions to choose from, you will be joining a robust and engaged community of peers representing over 76 countries. Not a member yet? No problem, you can join online today.

Meet other professionals working in your field to collaborate, innovate and problem solve.

Meet other professionals working in your field to collaborate, innovate and problem solve.